Mathematics is a part and parcel of education. It’s not only limited to STEM education but also finds application in other educational fields that are presumably not related to science. It’s necessary for students to develop a strong base on this intricate and seemingly abstract subject to benefit themselves in the long run. It should be kept in mind that this is not a subject that should be done in a process-oriented manner. We agree that each sum do follow a certain process but it should not be followed blindly. The underlying principle needs to be cleared at first so that the specific student doesn’t get confused if s/he encounters a tricky sum based on the sum in the near future. This is where games play an important role. We all know that children love to play games, be it outdoor or indoor video games or puzzles. If you can blend these games with an essence of mathematics, the result will be gratifying for both the parents and the students. Students who find no joy in mathematics may also benefit from math games to a certain extent because they might not even realize that they are actually playing and learning at the same time. That can be considered a reason as to why children should play math games or engage with various other palpable puzzles. But there are several more.
Let’s go through 7 of these reasons in more detail.
1. Strategic Thinking
Playing math games encourages the players to think strategically. They develop a sense of purpose and try to channel their thoughts in a way through which a specific goal can be achieved. This is highly beneficial from the point of view of mathematics because strategic thinking induces problem solving abilities in children. They develop the ability to question “Why?” and try to answer the same question on their own. More importantly, they learn to work alone that is an important criteria of success in mathematics.
2. Computational Fluency
Repeated engagement with math games increases computational fluency. Computational fluency’s a combination of being efficient, accurate as well as flexible when working with basic mathematics operations. It’s an important criterion of building up the success rate in mathematics. Various math games develop this very criterion in students. And do you know what is the best thing of games? Students will not even realize this very fact that they are developing computational fluency through games.
3. Practice Opportunities
It’s a universal truth that practice makes a man perfect. The same policy is applied here with a slight twist. Children love to play games again and again. Remember that these games are indirectly linked with mathematics, whether your children are aware of this fact or not. Hence, they are indirectly practicing mathematics through these games again and again which is certainly a beneficial aspect of math games. We can safely say that math games present numerous practice opportunities to students. This is surely a good thing.
4. Develop Familiarity with Number System
Math games allow children to develop an affinity to numbers. They become familiar with the number system as well as with various “benchmark numbers” for example 10s, 100s, 1000s and so on. This will provide them with a sound engagement in computational practice. This encourages the development of a deeper understanding of various math operations.
5. Bonding between parents and children
This is surely a positive point from the emotional point of view. Games are fun to play with but it become more enjoyable when more than one player engage with the same. Parents can engage at the same time with their children with various math games be it video games or palpable puzzles. The most important thing is that both of them will enjoy the play immensely. The bonding become stronger that is surely one positive attribute of games in general.
6. Building Fluency
Before we discuss this point, we need to ask ourselves this question that what actually develops fluency. Fluency gets developed only through a balance as well as a connection between computational proficiency and conceptual understanding. Math games develop this exact fluency in students that is greatly beneficial for solution of math problems.
7. Never give up
Last, but not the least we come to a point where the age old proverb applies- If you don’t succeed, try try and try again. Never give up. It’s a very important factor while doing sums, especially tricky ones. Students are bound to make mistakes and there’s a chance of getting frustrated again and again on the basis of the same mistake. It’s not like they are not trying to engage with math problems. They are trying their best, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s getting repetitive. Math games develop a felling of determinedness in students. They get the feeling that they have to beat a particular difficult level. They would see it to the very end. This “never giving up” attitude is very important from the point of view of mathematics.
We can safely say that games and puzzles are pretty important educational tool from the point of view of activities. These after-school activities are fun and are pretty engaging. Online math tutorials can also benefit you to a certain extent because they do follow these type of innovative lesson plans to develop an interest in your child in mathematics. So get a tangram or some Math apps on your mobile device and start your kids’ journey through this land of mathemagic. We wish your children the best of luck with their endeavors.